IAM is the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, charged with standards and safety in driving, motorcycle riding and cycling.
That’s sounds like an excellent charter and one that the RTA and other state road authorities around Australia should focus on rather than the seemingly endless quest for fines revenue, which is a now a big budget item in their various state budgets, but that’s another story.
That aside, most of those polled in the UK said that not only do they think that the limit should be higher, but over 60 percent believe that they would stick to that speed limit without the need to actually exceed it.
I know what they mean. Sydney, or Australia in general, has become a dangerously boring place to drive, given the woefully slow traffic flow these days, which tends to average out around 30-45 km/h around suburbia and the city. It's obviously a quicker pace on the freeway, but my point is that travelling at too slow a pace, can send you to ‘sleep’ travelling on a six-lane freeway at 90km/h, hour after hour.
Of those polled in the UK survey, almost 60 percent admitted to travelling above the 70mph limit when the traffic is uncongested and flowing freely. More telling was the fact that over 20 percent of that group said that they travelled at 80mph or faster.
The survey also reflects the latest Department of Transport (DfT) research in the UK that found 52 precent of cars exceeded the 70 mph limit and 16 percent travel at 80 mph or quicker still.
Dual carriage highways are our safest roads so it’s no surprise that Philip Hammond, the UK’s Transport Secretary says
“Shortening journey times for people travelling at quieter times is a good idea, provided it doesn’t have a negative effect on safety.”
Let ‘s hope the Australian authorities think the same way although, their likely concern will be on the negative effect of a revenue shortfall, rather than genuine road safety.